Jessica Hargreaves

A whole new ball game following eye op for Harrogate Phoenix player

For Leeds girl, Jessica Hargreaves, who only recalls life in glasses, her eyes on the world have opened up thanks to a little-know eye treatment at a specialist Yorkshire eye hospital.

Jessica, 26, has played netball for two decades and is a member of Harrogate Phoenix, playing at county level in North Yorkshire Netball League.  While training and playing once or twice a week, her biggest issue has been the contact lenses she has had to endure to see well enough to play.

Her other great passion outside of work is photography, particularly taking images of her three dogs when out walking. Again, the challenge of poor eyesight was hindering this hobby.

With a strong prescription of minus 14, Jessica was very short sighted and knew that meant laser eye surgery was not an option for her.

A visit to Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire in Apperley Bridge revealed a different treatment option.

Mr Shafiq Rehman, Jessica’s eye surgeon, explains: “Jessica has worn glasses since the age of four and her prescription, until recently, has been getting progressively worse. Now that it has stabilized over the past few years, albeit at a very strong prescription, we were able to offer her a treatment called Implantable Contact Lens (ICL).

“The lens is made to her specific prescription, and made of collamer which is a substance that occurs naturally in the body.  It is implanted behind the iris in front of the natural lens of the eye.

“This means she no longer needs to worry about glasses or contact lenses, and as the new ICL is within the eye it is fantastic for people, like Jessica, who love contact sport as the lens sits comfortably behind the pupil.”

For Jessica, she says: “It was a no brainer for me! My glasses were so thick, and I had had enough of 10 years of my eyes being aggravated by contact lenses, I was so pleased to learn about this treatment. And now my vision is fantastic and the headaches I would regularly get are gone.

“Not many people know of ICL and some even think I am making it up!

“My sport is so much more enjoyable now. I still have flashbacks to playing at school and my glasses spinning off my face and across the court!  And more recently the hassle of sorting out contact lenses in order to play, there was so much messing about with them – I was always fighting with them and they would aggravate my eyes.”

Jessica is also noticing a financial difference, as while she has invested in this surgery, she no longer has the ongoing cost of £300 per pair of glasses and £30-£40 a month on contact lenses and solutions.

Jessica, from Leeds, works in marketing for a pet product company.

Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire is part of a network of specialist eye hospitals across the UK.

Optegra Eye Health Care is a specialist provider of ophthalmic services in the UK, Czech Republic and Poland. It operates 21 eye hospitals and clinics, bringing together leading edge research, medical expertise and state-of-the-art surgical equipment.  Its top ophthalmic surgeons are renowned for their areas of expertise, offering excellent clinical outcomes.

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